'So incredibly grateful:' Community provides new driveway for Franklin flood victim who lost son

FRANKLIN -- Concrete was poured Wednesday, Oct. 9 for a Franklin family in need of a new driveway. In September, FOX6 News told you about the community fundraising effort after the family's property flooded.


Kate Gray

The initial goal was just to get the driveway finished before winter. On Wednesday, crews completed about 60% of the project, covering what was gravel with a layer of concrete -- a relatively routine construction project that would transform the lives of Kate Gray and her family.

"This is gorgeous," said Gray. "Are you kidding?"

Gray's gravel driveway got a much-needed upgrade after major flooding Sept. 12. The mess prevented her son Kavi, who uses a wheelchair, from making it to the bus stop.

"There were actually two days so far this year where we haven't been able to get Kavi to school," said Gray.


Matt Cool

When they heard about the inconvenience, other Franklin parents came up with a solution.

Matt Cool with Stevens Construction gathered a team to improve the drainage system, while his wife organized a GoFundMe.com account called "Pave the Way" to raise $25,000 for the materials and labor.

"They have something to deal with every single day and the fact that a few days of our time to help out in the community and raise some money -- it's a big deal," said Cool.

"This provides me a way to provide him the structure, and the schedule, and what he needs right now," said Gray.


The family was relying on that structure in the wake of a devastating set of circumstances over the summer. Gray's eldest son, Anthony Hales, was killed in a crash before the start of the football star's senior year of high school.

"After Anthony's passing, our lives got turned upside down," said Gray.



While a truck full of concrete wouldn't bury their pain, this gesture was a reminder for the family that they don't have to navigate their grief alone.

"It just makes us so incredibly humble and grateful," said Gray.

The community's generosity didn't end with the driveway. A company called WeatherPro Exteriors donated a new roof for their home, and Domino's delivered free pizza for the workers Wednesday.